Old Fashioned Ice Cream Soda Recipe

Old fashioned ice cream soda recipes are easy to make, and you don't need any special equipment. However, there is a SECRET to making them, and I will reveal it below, so you can relish every spoonful of this traditional soda parlor treat.

An Ice Cream Float is also easy to make. Both fountain drinks originate from the days of the old time ice cream parlor, and they taste wonderful each time you make them.

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Soda Recipes

The Dispenser's Formulary or Soda Water Guide (1915)

Homemade Ice Cream SodaEnjoy Delicious Old Fashioned Ice Cream Sodas
(Source: ©iStock/liveslow)

These old fashioned ice cream soda recipes produce what's called a GLORIFIED SODA — that is, they are similar to the standard ice cream sodas in method of mixing and serving, but by the expert combination of flavors employed, they enter the extra-fancy class of beverage. —The Dispenser's Formulary

Chocolate Noir

2 ounces chocolate syrup, 1/2 glass plain milk, 3 spoonfuls ice cream. Mix in 12-ounce glass, fill with carbonated water, and serve with a spoon. Price, 10 cents.

Chocolate Mint

2 ounces chocolate syrup, scoopful of ice cream, sprig of mint. Crush the mint against the side of glass, add ice cream, and fill glass with carbonated water. Price, 10 cents.

Frosted Chocolate

Place 2 ounces of chocolate syrup and 2 ounces of cream in a glass, and half-fill with carbonated water. Add 1 ounce of vanilla ice cream, then fill the glass with carbonated water. Top off with whipped cream. Sells for 15 cents.


Take a small amount of each fruit in season, cut very fine into a dish, adding enough simple syrup to cover, and let stand for several hours.

In serving put 2 tablespoonfuls of the mixture into a 12-ounce glass, add ice cream and carbonated water as in other crushed fruit drinks. Price 10 cents.


1 fluid ounce strawberry syrup, 1 fluid ounce vanilla syrup, 1 spoonful ice cream. Place ice cream in a 12-ounce glass, add the syrups and fill with carbonated water.

New York Beauty

1 ounce strawberry syrup, 1 ounce plain syrup, 1-1/2 ounces ice cream. Mix in 12-ounce glass and fill with carbonated water, fine stream.

Grape Gurgle

Into a suitable glass place one scoopful of ice cream, 1 ounce of grape syrup, and enough chipped ice; mix thoroughly, strain into a 12-ounce glass and fill with carbonated water, fine stream. Sprinkle with powdered nutmeg or cinnamon.

Ladies Choice

2 ounces raspberry syrup, 2 ounces sweet cream, 2 spoonfuls peach ice cream. Serve with 12-ounce glass like any soda drink with coarse and fine streams of carbonated water to fill glass. Charge 10 cents.

How to Make Ice Cream Sodas

© 2010 by Don Bell

Ice Cream SodaMake a Classic Ice Cream Soda Using Authentic Recipes
(Source: ©everett225/Depositphotos.com)

The typical old fashioned ice cream soda recipe calls for a delicious combination of ice cream, soda syrup flavoring, and soda water to make a creamy, frosty beverage with wide appeal.

Use my easy step-by-step method to make authentic ice cream sodas. It's based on the original pharmacy soda fountain formula used by soda jerks. Simply follow the easy steps below:

Step 1

Put two to four tablespoonfuls of flavored soda syrup into a tall frosty soda glass by carefully drizzling it down around the sides of the glass.

Step 2

Slowly fill the glass with chilled soda water to about 2 inches or so beneath its rim.

Step 3

Now add a large, round scoop of frozen vanilla ice cream so that it carefully rests directly on the rim of the glass allowing the ice cream and soda water to foam beneath.

But, here's the SECRET...

The ice cream must be positioned on the rim of the glass just right. If it's resting too deep in the soda water the foam will overflow the glass; if it's resting too high on the rim there won't be enough foam produced to call it a true soda. With practice, you'll get it perfect.

Step 4

Carefully insert a drinking straw and a long-handled spoon between the ice cream and the rim of the glass and top the beverage off with a generous garnish of whipped cream and a red maraschino cherry.


Experiment by combining different soda syrup flavors and your favorite ice creams. Or, make a Glorified Soda by following any of the old fashioned ice cream soda recipes above. There are infinite possibilities — all are delicious!

Ice Cream Soda History


Did you know that Lou Costello of the classic Abbott and Costello comedy duo really loved his ice cream sodas?

On March 3, 1959, his dying words were: "That was the best ice cream soda I ever tasted."

It seems the old fashioned ice cream soda recipe came about by accident at the Philadelphia Exposition in October of 1874. It was there that soda fountain operator Robert M. Green is said to have invented the first ice cream soda.

It became the common practice for 19th-century pharmacists to add an ounce or two of flavored soda syrup — vanilla was the favorite — and a tablespoon of thick cream to soda water to make Cream Sodas, and their soda fountain regulars loved them.

The story goes that one day Mr. Green's stand ran out of fresh cream, so he purchased some vanilla ice cream from a nearby ice cream vendor at the fair.

He planned to let it melt and use it as cream, but he became so busy that he added a large spoonful of the frozen ice cream to his customer's cream soda instead.

It was an instant hit! Word spread throughout the fair, and demand for Green's frosty beverage creation grew so great that his profits were said to have risen from $6 to $600 in a single day! A princely sum in 1874.

News of Green's Ice Cream Soda spread rapidly and soon pharmacies and trendy soda fountains across the land began duplicating his old fashioned ice cream soda recipe to sell frosty soda creations to their thirsty customers.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Carbonated Water

Carbonated Water (soda water) can be found for sale in the soft drink section of most food and convenience stores.

Torani Soda Syrups

Torani Soda Syrups can be easily purchased at Amazon.com in dozens of refreshing flavors ranging from Classic Root Beer to Watermelon.

If you purchase a product through a link on this page, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I recommend only products I have purchased or would purchase myself, products I think you would like. See my FTC compliance policy for more information.

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